Diary / Beauty / Sep 26, 2022
Bobbi on Beauty: What is Nude Makeup?
Written by: Bobbi
Photography by: Ben Ritter
Nude makeup can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. After spending years in the industry, here’s my take: nude makeup is inspired by the natural color of your skin, eyelids and lips. It’s so different from that Kardashian look of brown matte lipstick that often gets labeled as “nude makeup.” Nude makeup is not beige and nude makeup should not wash you out. What’s amazing about nude makeup is that once you master the look, it becomes effortless. It enhances your natural look. Here’s what you need to know to find your perfect nude shades:
A real nude should be the color of your actual lips — not lighter, not beige. If you look washed out, it’s too light. There are a range of colors that fit into this nude category, from pink and peach to deep purple. That’s why you always have to try the color on yourself instead of just grabbing whatever shade your friend is wearing. What looks good is all about your natural lip color.
Nude foundation should blend seamlessly into your skin. It should look like you aren’t wearing any foundation at all. Always swatch colors exactly where you’ll be applying them — on your face. You won’t know if the shade is right if you’re only looking at the back of your hand. If it disappears when you apply it to the side of your face, you’ve found the right shade.
Choose a shade that matches the color of your skin almost exactly. For most people, a powder with a yellow undertone will cut redness while still letting your skin show through. If you have oily skin, powder can appear darker so you might want to go one shade lighter. Just like foundation, try the powder out where you’ll actually be using it to see how it blends.
For a basic nude eye, look for a color that enhances your lid’s natural tone. I recommend a bone or ivory shade for fair skin and brown, caramel and taupe tones for medium to dark skin. If it blends seamlessly, you've found the right shade.
A nude blush is a shade that matches the color your cheeks turn when they naturally flush. Pinch your cheeks and look for a shade that matches that color. It will warm up your complexion, brighten your face and most importantly, look natural.
Check out the slideshow for a few of my favorite nude makeup looks from over the years.